I went to bed with the taste of dust in my mouth. This morning every surface of our fairly well-sealed home was covered in a fine layer of tan. The rest of the world outside was even more thickly blanketed with powder… more dust. Each footstep poofs and all of my roommates sneeze. “God bless you!” The air still holds to a little of the dust. We gauge air quality by how visible the tall hotel is that is about a kilometer a way. If we can see it, great! Today, there’s no sign of it.

The tan clouds blow it in, it rains, and the water evaporates. And it’s even dirtier than it was before the rain. We wash down the patio with a hose and squeegee. The floor needs mopping too. I sprayed down the shower room today and the water was brown as it flowed down the walls. One day and everything you’ve ever cleaned or dusted is covered in brown grime. You breathe it, feel it, smell and taste it. The only thing it doesn’t do is make noise. If anything it dampens the noises of the city and people are less likely to go out.  We even canceled basketball practice because we don’t want to fill all the girls’ lungs with what is currently attempting to pass for air.

5615634093_3142ba51cc_oAs much as I may be tempted to complain I am reminded by my roommate to be thankful. I wouldn’t have to dust so much if I didn’t have a house. I would have to dust so much if I wasn’t blessed to live in Iraq. While every footprint shows on the kitchen floors, I see that I have lovely marble tile floors. Even though I could feel the grit under my feet in the shower room, we have enough water in the roof-tank to get rid of the dust. And while I do need to dust every single surface in the house, I know my house is better sealed than most and my neighbors are probably wiping away a layer twice as thick as mine.

The dust is just part of the cycle of seasons here. We are dust after all and we have our own seasons of change. And while the dust and grime are ugly and frustrating, God uses them to create the most stunning sunsets.